About Samsung FlexWash
By combining two washers into one—a 5.0 cu ft capacity lower washer that handles bulky loads, along with a 1.0 cu ft top load compartment for gentler cleaning—the Samsung FlexWash promises to deliver an unprecedented amount of flexibility and provide the best care for your clothes.
The company tells us you’ll be able to run both of these washers simultaneously in two different modes, one of which can complete a full cycle in as little as 30 minutes, making it 45 percent faster than the competition, without sacrificing quality.
It also features Samsung’s Vibration Reduction Technology (VRT) Plus for quiet operation, a steam wash function to help remove stains without pre-treating, Wi-Fi and app connectivity, a full-touch LED display, and an eco-friendly and energy-efficient design.
Based on what we can see from their website and commercials, Samsung’s FlexWash washing machine certainly seems to be chock full of useful—not to mention super cool—features and technology. But will the price you pay deliver value, or should you consider the competition?
Let’s start off by learning more about this two-in-one washer.
How Does the Samsung FlexWash & Smart Home App Work?
At 34" deep and 27" wide, the FlexWash washing machine matches most of the competition. However, at nearly 47" high, it’s almost two feet taller than standard models, so keep in mind that its top section will add a meaningful amount of height.
Speaking of which, the upper washer is an automatic tub loader designed for each reach and to wash relatively small loads, ideally under 3.3 lbs. Cycle status can be monitored through its transparent glass.
The lower drum washer handles normal or heavy loads. Each is operated via two independent control panels on the front.
Despite its advanced appearance, FlexWash works with a standard water line hookup, and will need to be located within four feet and provide water pressure of more than 20 psi (137 kPa).
Once hooked up, FlexWash provides access to 12 different modes:
- Normal – This mode is intended for everyday cottons, bed and table linens, underwear, towels, and shirts. Washing time and rinse count is automatically adjusted according to the specific load.
- Heavy Duty – Ideal for heavily soiled items, colorfast fabrics, and sturdy clothing.
- Whites – For white items, with or without bleach
- Sanitize – Similar to the Heavy Duty mode, this is ideal for heavily soiled, colorfast items. However, it also heats the water to 150°F to eliminate bacteria.
- Delicates – In conjunction with liquid detergent, this is intended to work best with sheer fabrics, bras, lingerie, silks, and other handwash-only fabrics.
- Permanent Press – Wash-and-wear, synthetic fabrics, and lightly to normally soiled items.
- Towels – For bath towels, washcloths (facecloths), and mats.
- Bedding – For bulky items such as comforters, blankets, and sheets, although the company recommends washing only a single type of bedding at one time for best results.
- Quick Wash – For lightly soiled items that you want to finish washing quickly.
- Eco Cold – The cold water used in this cycle can help save energy and prevent fabric damage for normally and lightly soiled items.
- Active Wear – This cycle uses controlled drum rotation to remove soil from active wear like sports jerseys, training pants, shirts/tops, and other performance clothing.
- Rinse + Spin – If you only need to rinse or add fabric softener, this is your mode.
Using the control panel, you’ll be able to start/pause cycles, and even change between cycles, whenever you like.
Shown here with the companion FlexDry, Samsung’s FlexWash (left) features top-load and drum-based sections, 12 different modes, and app connectivity. Image credit: Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
How does this all fit within Samsung’s Smart Home App?
Using your home’s Wi-Fi connection, you can connect any Android OS 4.0 (ICS) or later device, or iOS 7 or later iPhone model, to your FlexWash washer. Once paired, you’ll be able to see how much time remains in the cycle, receive alerts after the cycle is complete, and even schedule future cycles from anywhere with a connection.
Using Samsung’s Smart Home app, you’ll be able to control different modes for your FlexWash, along with other devices from the manufacturer, like air conditioners and dryers. Image credit: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
We’ll come back to the app’s functionality in a moment, but let’s first discuss what you’ll pay.
How Much Does the Samsung FlexWash Cost?
Samsung offers two different FlexWash models, which, except for their total capacity, appear to be identical in every other respect. MSRP:
- WV9600 FlexWash (5.5 total cu. ft.): $1,599
- WV9900 FlexWash (6.0 total cu. ft.): $1,899
However, we found the washing machines available through retailers like Sears.com (and some Sears locations), Best Buy, Home Depot, and Lowes for between $1,000 and $1,500 at the time of our research.
While refund policies will vary depending on the retailer, Samsung provides a variety of warranties against manufacturing defects in materials and workmanship: One year parts and labor, three years for the stainless tub part only, and 10 years for the washing DD motor part only.
To process a warranty claim, Samsung customer support can be reached at 800-726-7864.
What Are Samsung’s Customers Saying About the FlexWash Machine?
CNET gave the FlexWash an 8.1 out of 10 rating, stating that its 2-in-1 capabilities, gorgeous finish, ease of use, and responsive touch-screen design could make it worth the money. They also appreciated that you can start, stop, and view status from the app.
However, they noted that it didn’t provide the best stain removing power they had ever encountered, and that if you don’t think you’ll use the dual washers on a regular basis, you probably shouldn’t waste your money.
Overall, though, they felt it would definitely come in handy if you’re always up against a mountain of laundry.
PC Mag didn’t get any hands-on testing like CNET, although they lamented the fact that it doesn’t currently provide any third-party compatibility for smart home features:
“You can't control the machine with Alexa, Google Home, or Siri. It doesn't support If This Then That (IFTTT) recipes. And it doesn't even work with Samsung's own SmartThings Hub. For the price, third-party compatibility would be a nice feature.”
As far as direct feedback, we found 13 customer reviews for the Samsung FlexWash on BestBuy.com, where it had an average rating of 4.6 stars. Overall, most seemed to feel that the second washer is very convenient, the washer is easy of use, and that it delivers effective cleaning.
Only one customer noted any downsides, which related to the fact that the top washer is only big enough for three to four pieces. Another five reviews on HomeDepot.com delivered a similar average rating of five stars, with many of the same compliments.
While not specifically related to FlexWash, Samsung’s Smart Home App had an average rating of 2.8 stars on Google Play, among more than 4,000 total reviews. iTunes was lower at one star and 250+ reviews. Most complaints reported less-than-stellar functionality.
Apps or otherwise, are there models from other manufacturers competing in the same space?
Samsung FlexWash vs. the Competition
There weren’t any other options exactly like FlexWash at the time of this writing. So, if you’re looking for the same 2-in-1 design, it’s currently your only option.
However, if you’re willing to compromise a bit, we encountered the LG SideKick Pedestal Washer during our research. Priced between $400 and $750 (depending on model), these 1.0 cu ft add-on devices slide beneath your existing washer to provide much of the same functionality, without having to purchase a whole new unit.
Perhaps the biggest differences? While we didn’t test either option firsthand, since the LG models fit underneath, you’ll have to be OK with a drawer-based design, as well as the fact that you’ll have to bend over to reach it.
Another consideration is that you’ll likely need to run a separate water line to this add-on, whereas the FlexWash can operate both washers from a single line. Outside of these differences, though, how can you decide on the most appropriate option?
To help you decide, Good Housekeeping recommends starting with size (here’s where FlexWash’s meaningfully higher height could come into play), depending on where it will be placed.
Dimensions are also important, and at 6.0 cu ft total for the top model, FlexWash is certainly at the upper end of the spectrum. Also, are you particular about your clothing care? Do you frequently wrestle with tough stains? If so, higher end models with specialized cycles (again, similar to FlexWash) could provide you with more value, despite their typically higher prices.
What’s Our Bottom Line About the Samsung FlexWash?
In the end, which problems does the Samsung FlexWash purport to solve? Again, while we didn’t test it ourselves, based on the company’s marketing materials, it seems to be aimed at those who appreciate a variety of cycle options, app functionality, and the ability to wash two completely different loads simultaneously.
From this perspective, along with almost wholly (if not somewhat limited) consumer feedback, it seems like the smart washing machine has accomplished these goals.
Given this, it largely comes down to what you’re willing to pay to achieve these goals. Currently, your options are limited to the FlexWash and the LG SideKick Pedestal Washer series, which are light years apart as far as price. In fact, you could purchase a 2-in-1 combo from LG at the time of our research for as little as $800.
Which option is right for you? Ultimately, it comes down to your specific needs and preferences. For example, while FlexWash seemed to come with stellar customer reviews, its app (which supports many of the remote features) appeared to come with much lower average ratings from customers, so keep this in mind if this aspect is at the top of your list.
Also, before purchasing, just be sure to inquire about the retailer’s refund policy in case one or the other doesn’t work out and you need to process a return.
Specifically, how long do you have? Will you need to pay any restocking or delivery fees? Also, if you need to return a model, how will you wash clothes until you purchase a new one?
Do you have hands-on experience with the Samsung FlexWash? If so, take a couple seconds to tell the world about it in your review below.